ictoria Mayoral candidate Paul Brown today publicly challenged Mayor Dean Fortin to explain why he has been withholding details of the new civic workers agreement at City Hall, even though it was signed three and a half weeks ago.
"CUPE itself announced that a tentative agreement had been reached with the Greater Victoria Labour Relations Board on Oct 13 (see link below) ," said Brown, "and I have confirmed the contract was ratified by the union on Oct. 17. Why hasn't the City of Victoria made this deal public yet?"
"I contacted the GVLRA and confirmed that it is up to the Mayor of Victoria to make the announcement on behalf of the City." said Brown. "The mayor sits on the GVLRA board; but so far he has said nothing about it."
"This is another glaring example of the secrecy and manipulation of key public information by this city administration," said Brown. "Could it be the Mayor is simply trying to hide the new wage agreement until after the election? If so, that would be a disgraceful misuse of vital public information."
Brown said the new contract gives civic workers in Victoria a 6% wage increase over the next three years. The previous agreement, which expired Dec. 31, 2010, raised union wages 12% over four years.
"I want to make it clear I have no complaint with the civic workers getting a new wage agreement that matches inflation," said Brown. "The real problem has been the outrageous increase in senior management salaries over the past three years. Those increases have consistently been in the double-digit range--from 25% to as much as 54%--far more than civic workers received during the same period."
NOTE TO MEDIA:
Key examples of senior management salary increases can be found on the Open Victoria website at: http://openvictoria.ca/council-qa/#QDAY
Key links to CUPE agreement details:
2007 agreement, 3% per year for four years, expired December 31, 2010:
http://50.cupe.ca/Collective Agreements/City of Vic/City of Victoria 2007-2010 Final.htm#_Toc189543776
CUPE confirms reaching deal with City, October 13, 2011:
Paul Brown is available to comment: (250) 727-8798